Basic Investment Course

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1 Page 1: Basic Investment Course Basic Investment Course brought to you by Standard Bank Online Share Trading Unit 2: Dividends

2 Page 2: Basic Investment Course Content Page Unit 1: Introduction to Share Investment Unit 2: Dividends 2.1. Dividends What are Dividends? Dividend policy of a company Important dividend dates 2.2. What is a dividend yield? 2.3. What is a dividend payout and a dividend payout ratio? 2.4. Summary Unit 3: Why should I invest in shares? Unit 4: What shares should I buy? Unit 5: What factors will influence my returns?

3 Page 3: Basic Investment Course 2.1. Dividends What are dividends? We learnt previously that the reason it is important for you to learn about shares and investing is to ensure your financial future and security. When you invest in shares you do so for several reasons as previously discussed, i.e. to achieve capital growth, regular income or both. One way of obtaining an income from your share investment is by receiving a dividend. Dividends are distributions of a companies earnings to shareholders. Shares, unlike bonds, don t have a guaranteed interest return. The dividend earned on shares depends on the profits earned by the company. In any given year (or half-year), the directors may decide to increase or lower the dividend. They may even decide not to pay a dividend but they had better have a very good excuse, otherwise the shares will be dumped. When a company is profitable it sometimes pays out a dividend to its shareholders. Let s learn more about this Dividend policy of a company When companies earn income they have a number of choices as to what to do with that income. There are a number of options namely: re-invest in operations buy back shares pay off debt distribute to shareholders

4 Page 4: Basic Investment Course Let s look briefly at the policies that companies employ when distributing the income to shareholders. There are a number of issues that need to be considered when a company distributes income in the form of dividends to shareholders. They are: How much to distribute i.e. what percentage of the income should be distributed? What form the payout should be either cash or additional shares? Should the payout be the same from year to year or different each year depending on the income in that particular year? All of the above mentioned issues form part of the dividend policy of a company. The dividend policy of a company is decided by management and can change from time to time Important dividend dates There are three important dates relating to dividends: 1) Date of declaration this is the date on which the dividend is declared by the company. 2) Date of record Only shareholders registered on this date will receive the dividends. You may sell the shares after this date and still receive the dividends. 3) Date of payment This is the date of payment of the dividend. Dividends are only paid to shareholders registered on the date of record What is a dividend yield? The dividend yield is the percentage of net income to be paid out as cash dividends to shareholders. The company determines the dividend yield based upon its preferences, which are either to distribute income as cash dividends re-invest the income back into the company to generate further income.

5 Page 5: Basic Investment Course As a shareholder who has purchased shares in a company, the dividend yield may be very important to you when considering purchasing a share. A high yield means you will receive a high income from the share. A high dividend yield may not necessarily mean that your share value is maximised because companies that retain their earnings and pay low or no dividends may use those retained earnings to expand and build the company and thus grow your investment, which means you have a capital gain. Obviously the ideal situation is to own a share that gives you both income and a good capital growth. So, let us restate the important concept of a dividend yield. It is calculated by taking the amount of dividends paid per share over the course of a year and dividing by the share s price. Mature, well-established companies tend to have higher dividend yields, while young, growth-oriented companies tend to have lower ones, and most small growing companies don't have a dividend yield at all because they don't pay out dividends. Example Hypothetical Company A pays an annual dividend of R7 and trades at R910 per share; Company B pays an annual dividend of R2.72 and trades at R49.75 per share. By calculating the dividend yield, the investor can compare the amount he would earn in cash income annually from each security. Company A dividend yield calculation: Dividends paid 7 Dividend yield = = = = 0.77% Price 910

6 Page 6: Basic Investment Course Company B dividend yield calculation: Dividends paid 2.72 Dividend yield = = = = 5.5% Price In other words, despite the fact that Company A pays a higher per-share dividend, R100,000 invested in its common share would yield only R770 in annual income as opposed to the same amount invested in company B which would yield R5,500. An investor interested in dividend income and not capital gains should opt for the latter, all else being equal. Because the share price is in the denominator, the dividend yield falls as the share price rises, assuming all things remain equal. The lower the dividend yield, the more expensive the share. An increasing yield may look attractive, but is a cause for concern because the share price is falling. When a company has a high yield, look at its dividend cover. If the dividend yield is unsustainable, the dividend cover will be low. If the yield is rising, investors have to ask why the price is falling. A rising dividend yield could mean the market s adjusting the share price down because it believes the company can t maintain its dividend. The graph below illustrates the relationship between dividend yield and price.

7 Page 7: Basic Investment Course Talking a certain kind of investor out of the conviction that a higher-yielding share should be bought is difficult. They don t realise that, in share investment, a falling dividend yield is a good thing because the price of the share is going up. Note: Earnings per share Dividend cover = Dividend per share The dividend cover tells management how many times bigger the earnings of the company are in comparison to the dividends paid per share. The bigger the number the better and the more healthy the company What is a dividend payout and a dividend payout ratio? Dividend payout The dividend payout is the dividend that a company chooses to pay to its shareholders instead of retaining the profits in the company. In the days of falling share prices, the board of directors will often begin to pay dividends to help stabilise the company s share. Many investors consider these dividends as a sign of safety and financial conservatism (which they are in many cases). Dividends in and of themselves, however, do not necessarily make the company a better investment. Companies that earn high returns on equity, have little or no debt, and large room to expand in their current industry would best serve their shareholders by paying no dividends. Instead, they should opt to reinvest all of the company s available resources into growing the value of the underlying business. The shareholders will be rewarded through appreciation in the share price. In other words, a company should only pay dividends if it is unable to reinvest its cash at a higher rate than the shareholders (owners) of the business would be able

8 Page 8: Basic Investment Course to if the money was in their hands. For example, if company ABC is earning 25% on equity with no debt, management should retain all of the earnings because the average investor probably won't find another company or investment that is yielding that kind of return. Dividend payout ratio The dividend payout ratio is defined as the percentage of net income that is paid out in the form of dividends. This ratio is important in projecting the growth of a company because its inverse, the retention ratio (the amount not paid out to shareholders in the form of dividends), can help project a company s growth. The dividend payout ratio is the dividends paid divided by company earnings over some period of time, expressed as a percentage. Dividends paid Dividend payout ratio = Net income The payout ratio varies according to the stage of life of a company. When a company is young, earnings are retained and ploughed back into the business, so the payout ratio is small. The payout ratio is the reciprocal of the dividend cover. A suitable payout ratio depends on a company s cash needs and investor expectations. Calculating the dividend payout ratio Company C s 2005 cash flow statement shows that the company paid R2.166 billion in dividends to shareholders. The income statement for the same year shows the business had reported a net income of R4.347 billion. To calculate the divided payout ratio, the investor would do the following:

9 Page 9: Basic Investment Course Dividends paid 2,166,000,000 Dividend payout ratio = = = 48.9% Net income 4,347,000,000 The answer, 48.9%, tells the investor that Company C paid out nearly fifty percent of its profit to shareholders over the course of the year. So, what this means is that approximately 50% of the company s earnings can be used to expand, maintain and grow the company. This can take the form of acquiring another business or simply upgrading computers Summary In this unit we learnt about the basics of dividends. We learnt that one way of obtaining an income from your share investment is by receiving a dividend. We learnt that when companies earn income they can re-invest in operations, acquire securities, pay off debt or distribute it to shareholders as dividends.

10 Page 10: Basic Investment Course Disclaimer This document has been prepared solely for information purposes by The Standard Bank of South Africa Limited, acting through its Corporate and Investment Bank Division ( SBSA ). Any indicative terms provided to you are provided for your information and do not constitute an offer, a solicitation of an offer, invitation to acquire any security or to enter into any agreement, or any advice or recommendation to conclude any transaction (whether on the indicative terms or otherwise). Any information, indicative price quotations, disclosure materials or analyses provided to you have been prepared on assumptions and parameters that reflect good faith determinations by us or that have been expressly specified by you and do not constitute advice by us and it should not be relied upon as such. The information, assumptions and parameters used are not the only ones that might reasonably have been selected and therefore no guarantee is given as to the accuracy, completeness, or reasonableness of any such information, quotations, disclosure or analyses. No representation or warranty is made that any indicative performance or return indicated will be achieved in the future. This document is not an official confirmation of terms, and any transaction that may be concluded pursuant to this document shall be in terms of and confirmed by the signing of appropriate documentation, on terms to be agreed between the parties. The information in the document is also subject to change without notice. SBSA, or an associated company, may have effected or may effect transactions for its own account in any investment outlined in the document or any investment related to such an investment. Prospective users should obtain independent advice in respect of any product detailed in this document, as SBSA provides no investment, tax or legal advice and makes no representation or warranty about the suitability of a product for a particular client or circumstance. Transactions described in this material may give rise to substantial risk and are not suitable for all investors. SBSA will only provide investment advice if specifically agreed to by SBSA in appropriate documentation, signed by SBSA. This information is to be used at your own risks, and SBSA makes no representation with regards to the correctness of the information herein.

11 Page 11: Basic Investment Course Contact Details Standard Bank Online Share Trading 4th Floor Entrance 1 3 Simmonds Street Phone: Fax: Web Address: or via Bluematter

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